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For week ended January 31, 1999 Posted 2 Feb 1999
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Appellate court denies further review of student-led prayer ruling

Summarized by Denise Bodman

Appellate court denies further review of student-led prayer ruling
Sacramento CA Bee (AP) 28Jan99

A May 1998 court decision upholding an eastern Idaho school district's policy of allowing student-initiated prayers at high school graduation has been allowed to stand by the federal appeals court.

The decision is based on a suit by a non-Mormon family, who lived in a primarily-Mormon town containing the Madison School District. The suit was originally filed 9 years ago, but considerations related to the anonymity of the complainants, who feared retaliation in their community, and the court's decision to await a Supreme Court ruling on another case resulted in delays.

This decision effectively allows students to decide whether or not to have prayers offered in graduation ceremonies. The school district itself is not allowed to require prayers during such ceremonies, in keeping with the idea of separation of church and state.


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